We have open visition in our ICU......BUT AT THE NURSES DISCRETION.....people must call into the unit prior to entering and the care giver RN must decide what is in the best interest of the patient if they can visit at that time. They must also leave when asked. Management is supportive and there aren't any problems.
Nurses can be self-centered, rather than patient centered (and to be patient centered is to be family centered, like it or not) and don't want to be bothered with family members in the guise of "it's not what's best for the patient, they need their rest, they are too crtical, they will be in the way". Knowing full well if their child or spouse was in critical condition wild horses wouldn't keep them away.
Open visitation works, with guidelines and management support.
It's whats best for the patient. It's whats best for famlies. It's what's best for nursing.